Tag Archives: Music

Tech Gift Ideas for your Valentine

Well, the famous (or infamous if you live in Mumbai) Valentine’s Day is around and it’s time you decided to give a gift to that special someone. However, what if your boyfriend/girlfriend is a tech maniac? What if he/she likes to stay in the latest buzz or have a new gadget to show off (and hopefully do the same for you next year)? Those murmurs of acquiescence tell me that you do have such a companion and that choosing a gift for him/her without formidably denting your wallet is quite a nuisance. Fear not! For Techie Buzz is here to save your day once again!

For the Photography Lover

No, we are not going to tell you to buy him/her a dSLR (but if you have the money to spend, go ahead!), but the Nikon Coolpix L20 is a formidable point-and-shoot camera that comes for under $100. With a lacquered plastic finish this one is a good-looking winner!

Coolpix

However, if your Valentine already has a decent camera and uploads and shares them online, the best way to gift him/her is by buying a premium subscription package for the service they use. Both deviantART and Flickr offer subscription gifts with messages that add an extra bit of love to the gift!

Official_deviantART_Logo

With deviantART, all you have to do is browse to the person’s profile and click on the Givebutton followed by the Give subscriptionbutton and following the on-screen instructions. With Flickr, just navigate to the gift page and buy a subscription. The person who receives it has to redeem the gift code. Simple!

flickr-yahoo-logo.png.v2

For the Music Lover

While the iPod Touch would be the preferred gift idea of the rich, it will not be a gift idea from Techie Buzz. We like it when awesome things are bundled at a low price! The favored music player that is pretty cheap is the Sansa Clip from Sandisk. This David of a player laughs at the Goliaths like Apple and Samsung with its beautifully rich sound reproduction. Supporting MP3, WMA, secured WMA and Audible eBooks, this is one player that does everything in a tiny package. Best part? It’s dirt cheap at around $50 for the 4GB version. The Clip+ which supports microSD extendable memory is also around the same price. Verdict: Get the Clip+ you will not regret it!

sansaclip

However, if your Valentine is an Apple fan, the new 3rd Gen iPod Shuffle is quite the formidable player. With its sleek looks and beautiful array of colors and the amazing Apple sound quality to boot, this one is a sure-fire winner at $79 or less. Since I personally use this player, I would recommend it to anyone who travels via public transport. The earphone controls are a godsend even though the sound is not all that great via the headphones. However, you can get an adapter for the controls and use your own earphones if you want.

ipodshuffle

If your loved one uses last.fm quite a lot, you can even gift the last.fm radio subscription for him/her! Just click on the subscribe button and click on the For friendtab and do the rest! Or, just click here for giving the gift of a subscription.

lastfm-logo

For the Gamer

Ah, the Gamer. So many games and hardware to choose from what do you exactly buy him (mostly)/her? There is the constant fear of your Valentine saying Oh I have this gameor Aw, this game sucks!. However, knowing gamers as I do, most of the hardcore gamers truly enjoy retro games. So one of the favorite gaming devices is the GP2X Wiz. Though it is pricey, it is a godsend for retro gamers and has a touch-screen and emulators for quite a few gaming devices of yore.

gp2xwiz

As for real games, there is always a sale on Steam or Direct2Drive regarding games and you can give the gift of a game on both these websites. Good Old Games also has the option of gifting games, but the fact of the matter is that  GoG.com is DRM-free completely and has amazing old games that still fail to bore you! So if your boyfriend/girlfriend likes gaming, these are the places to be!

Do tell us what you bought for your Valentine and how it was received in the comments!

Watch GRAMMY Awards 2010 Online

The GRAMMY (Grammy or Gramophone) Awards are presented each year to honor the best achievements in the music industry of the past year by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, USA. It is a widely televised award, second only to the Oscar (Academy) Awards. With 99 award categories and a total of 109 awards this is one of the longest award ceremonies around and it is full of the glitz and glitter of the music industry from rock groups to classical orchestras to hip-hop kings throng the audience among others. The 52nd GRAMMY Awards will be presented on the 31st of January, 2010 from 8:30-11:30PM (ET/PT) at the Los Angeles Convention Center, while the pre-telecast will go live online from 1:00PM to 4:00PM (ET/PT).

GRAMMY Award

The GRAMMY awards are named after the gold-gilded gramophone statuette presented to the winner(s), and is analogous to the Golden Globe statuette and the Oscar statuette awarded to their respective winners. The hosts of this year’s GRAMMY awards are Tia Carrere (the Hawaiian actress and award winner) and Kurt Elling, who are also this year’s nominees for one award each. Many current nominees and industry greats will be presenting the awards in 99 categories, and the star-studded ceremony will also feature performances by Beast, Charlie Benson and Ray Wilson, among others.

TiaCarrere

The best part about this CBS-sponsored award ceremony is that it can also be watched online! Both Grammy.com and the CBS network for all of us computer-couch potatoes! Both of these sites, will stream the ceremony online, while YouTube will add auxiliary support with a host of related videos. The pre-telecast ceremony will be streamed live on GRAMMY Live!, for an entire weekend’s worth of interviews, special performances and more from nominees.

Kurt Elling

This year’s ceremony will also feature a special Michael Jackson tribute, featuring a 3D mini-movie known as Earth Song, created by Jackson for his This Is Ittour, but has not been seen before. The movie delivers a strong message about the future of our planet. CBS will telecast this movie in full 3D so that viewers at home can also watch it with special 3D glasses (which the company has made millions of and is distributing for free in Target stores in the USA from the 24th through to 31st January, 2010). Along with this, there will be special performances to honor Jackson who passed away in 2009.

Michael Jackson

So, I am sure you will all be glued to your displays now that the GRAMMYs are also being telecast online! Tell us who will win the GRAMMYs in your favorite categories, and why in your comments!

Courts to Debate Lawsuits on Fan-Made Videos in 2010

EMI Music imprints Capitol, Caroline, and Virgin, and EMI Music Publishing have recently filed a lawsuit against Vimeo.com (a video sharing website that falls under a division of online media conglomerate IAC). In the murky areas of copyright law, this is a significant development because it looks into the yet unaddressed issue of fans uploading videos that have copyrighted content (mostly audio) in it.

EMI’s suit will tackle two primary concerns. The first is whether video sharing websites are liable for copyright infringement. This is keeping in mind that they allow, and profit from, user-uploaded copyrighted content.
The second concern is whether lip dubs, and similar videos, are cases of copyright infringement. (Lip dubs are videos in which people lip synch to professional recordings.)

Most labels have agreements with YouTube, that enables sharing of revenue gained from such videos. However, not all labels have been able to make such agreements, and not all video sharing sites have been included in such deals so far.

The other side states that fan-made videos are examples of fair use, tolerated under copyright law as an accommodation to noncommercial, transformative creativity. However, as EMI duly points out Vimeo.com is anything but noncommercial.

This area of copyright has few precedents in terms of law. Besides the EMI suit, there are other suits lined up in 2010 that might possibly bring clarity to these issues. Examples are Stephanie Lenz’s lawsuit where she is fighting UMG for taking down a YouTube video of her toddler son dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”. Also in line is Don Henley’s action against U.S. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore (R-Calif.) for using “The Boys of Summer” and “All She Wants to Do Is Dance” in “parody” political videos.

Search For Music Videos, MP3s and Lyrics Using Museeca

There are websites to search for music videos, websites to search for lyrics and even websites to search for MP3s. However, there are very few websites that allow you to search for all of these.

Museeca is a search engine solely dedicated to music. You can use Museeca to find MP3,music videos, Ringtones, Lyrics and even guitar tabs. The underlying search engine is Google so the results are pretty fast and accurate. For example, searching for an Mp3 of Fireflies would display a number of MP3 sites where you can listen to and download the song.

You can search for a song by artist, song or album name. While searching for a ringtone, you can narrow your search down to MP3 Ringtones, iPhone Ringtones or Polyphonic Ringtones.

Want to see which chords were used in a particular song? Another unique option that Museeca offers is to search for Guitar tabs. It searches popular guitar sites including Ultimate-Guitar and GuitarTab.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Museeca is an excellent resource to search for music and music related information. When you enter a query in Museeca, it searches Google for you but filters out all the noise and only gives you the results containing actual media.

Rating: 4/5

Last.fm Reveals Top 10 Artists of 2009

Last.fm is the ultimate social platform when it comes to music. Millions of users flock to Last.fm every day to listen to music, manage playlists and find music related information. Now, when 2009 is about to end, they have revealed the top 10 albums of the year based on album scrobbles.

Here’s the list:

10. Kayne West with 6,615,339 album scrobbles.

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs with 6,885,404 album scrobbles.

8. Green Day with 7,607,693 album scrobbles.

7. Animal Collective with 7,630,636 scrobbles.

6. Beyonce with 8,642,704 scrobbles.

5. Franz Ferdinand with 8,795,186 album scrobbles.

4. The Prodigy with 8,900,264 scrobbles.

3. Lily Allen with 10,522,633 album scrobbles.

2. The Killers with 12,471,571 scrobbles.

1. Lady Gaga with 18,487,195 album scrobbles.

The data is based on activity from 1st October 2008 through 16th November 2009. Another interesting set of data that was recently published by Last.fm is the Top 1000 by tag list.

Apple To Launch Web-Based iTunes?

After the recent acquisition of Lala, the web-based music service, it is being heavily speculated that Apple will launch a web-based version of iTunes.

Lala lets users create a music library in the cloud and access it from any web-enabled device. Given the large user base of iPod and iPhone users, it is not hard to understand that Apple will use this to let the iPod/iPhone users stream music from the clouds.

Wall Street Journal also supports the speculation and says that acquiring Lala for $85 Million was part of Apple’s strategy to capture the music market on the web. This will allow users to stream music without downloading and configuring the iTunes software on their machines.

What is a .PLS File? How to Open .PLS Files?

Like previously mentioned playlist format M3U, PLS is also a similar file format standard for creating playlists in media players, but in fact is a much more expressive format than the other counterpart.

A PLS file can retain song cache information, like its length unlike M3U. Being just a playlist file, it does not contain any music files in itself, but rather point to music files stored elsewhere. The PLS file format is often used to redirect to Internet radio streams, for example, if you want to play a radio stream from Shoutcast, you can copy the PLS file url of the station from the site and play it in a desktop media player like Winamp, Foobar, iTunes or VLC. You will have to use the Add Location Or URL option in the media players to add the stream and listen to it.

PLS files are not supported in Windows Media Player, unless you install third party codecs, like the K-Lite Code Pack.

Watch Foo Fighters Concert Live on Facebook

Just a week after U2 did a live broadcast of their concert on , there are reports in TechCrunch, that Foo Fighters will be broadcasting their concert live on using Livestream.

foo_fighters_live_facebook_concert

The concert will be streamed live on the Foo Fighters fan page on Facebook at 7PM PST (10PM EST) today on October 30th, 2009. Fans will be able to update their status on the concert page using the live feeds feature in Facebook.

Bands broadcasting their concerts live on the internet, is definitely great news for fans, as it is not always possible for everyone to make it to a live concert in person. Internet on the other hand provides a great way to connect fans from across the world, allowing them to enjoy the music from the comfort of their home.

The Foo Fighters concert will be broadcast live for 1 hour.

Review: SensMe Channels for the Sony PSP

When I popped in my Resistance: Retribution UMD and fired up its multiplayer, DNAS asked me to update my PSP by going to Settings->System Update or it would not sign in. I was amazed at the fact that v6.10 that I blogged about was over the servers, but not on the US site as yet. I hurriedly plugged in the PSP to an AC power source and downloaded the update. Long story short, I downloaded the update and also downloaded SensMe channels and gave it a thorough test run. End result: Decent. The following short review will tell you exactly what you need to know about the new application (yes it is an application) for the PSP. (Do forgive the PSP screenshots since my camera does not do well with macros).

First off, you need these things:

  • PSP (duh)
  • PSP Firmware v6.10 (another big duh)PSP Firmware v6.10
  • MediaGo

Yes. The last one is an absolute necessity. It’s yet another multimedia library software, however it analyzes the content of each track using some proprietary algorithms and categorizes according to their Mood and Tempo. A SensMe playlist is then created by the user as shown in the screenshot. (Pull the ends of the circle to increase or decrease the area it encompasses, and you have your playlist)

SensMe Playlist on MediaGo

Sync all the files that you have with SensMe data to your PSP via MediaGo and voila, you have them all on your lovely portable darling.

SensMe Application on XMB

I have to say that the UI looks slick. It flows well and the transitions look well on the eye.
Evening Songs

All the songs are categorized under channels such as Energeticor Mellowor Extremeor Loungewhich can be called by pressing the Selectbutton on your PSP. Eight categories like these these are the permanentcategories. Selecting a category is as simple as pressing X while hovering over it, and all the songs are displayed quite familiarly like the iPod CoverFlow. However, I forgive Sony on grounds that it looks pretty awesome!

Channels View
The other options are Evening which changes according to the time of the day, and consequently so do the songs.

Evening Channel There is a Shuffle Alloption that shuffles all your songs into a new playlist and you can listen to your entire library in a random order. The Newly Addedchannel lists all the songs that were added in the last sync, while the Favoriteschannel lists all the songs that you have favorited.

Favorites

Adding a song to your Favorite list is very easy just press Up in the D-pad and it goes into your favorites; press down while you are looking at the same song and it gets removed from the favorite list. Simple, easy and effective. However, the speed of the UI is quite slow and it feels like it is lagging now and then. So, while the entire application is gorgeous, the not-very-smooth transitions feels like you have a Pentium II trying to run Crysis (OK, not that bad, but it does not suit the PSP whose XMB is the smoothest thing I have ever used). As you scroll through the songs (Using the D-pad’s left and right buttons) the album art of the later songs are added slowly, which again looks quite bad on the PSP. I only hope they would remedy it in the later version of SensMe channels.

Another flaw in this flawed beauty is the load time. This thing loads like a game! And we all know how long a game takes to load on a PSP in the time I wait for it to load, I might as well have started listening to a playlist synced with MediaGo.

Playlist on XMB

In all, SensMe channels is a great toy for people to toy around with, but where it makes up for prettiness and mood-centric playlists (for the most part, the songs selected for the mood were spot on; the exceptions could have been my fault as I had a lot of Tristania loaded up!) it goes down on load times and slow UI. Again, I hope Sony remedies this in the later versions especially the loading time. SensMe channels does well for those of us who are lethargic and do not want to create their own playlist for the Sony PSP; I fit into this category quite comfortably!

Search Popular Free Hosting Sites With Download Monster

The number of free hosting sites have grown significantly over the last few years. Zshare, MegaUpload, RapidShare and HotFiles are some of the popular ones that people use to host music, videos or other large files for free. If you are looking for a song, a video or simply a large file, you are bound to find it on one of these sites. However, going from one site to another searching on each site separately makes it painful.

DownloadMonster is a search engine that lets you search popular free hosting sites for media. They have indexed over 660,000 files and let you search a number of hosting sites including MegaUpload, RapidShare, DepositFiles and HotFile. With each search result, you can see the name of the host, the date file was uploaded, file type and file size. Clicking on any result will allow you to download the file to your local drive.

A colorful tag cloud and hot searches section tells you what files have been popular recently.

How to Embed Album Art In MP3 Files

Album Art If you are an audiophile and anything like me, you probably have got loads of music stacked up inside folders and folders. Managing a large collection of music can be a bit of a task sometimes, but with the help of some useful tools it can be made much easier.

Album Art is one thing that makes browsing your music library a lot more easier and fun. The graphic draws your attention towards the band or artist and forms a virtual connection that links your music taste with it. However, it’s not necessary that all your music would have embedded album art information. Probably, some of your music came from CDs, some from friends, a fraction from online stores and maybe, a larger fraction from, well, The Pirate Bay for instance.

Difference between external and embedded album art:

Album Art can either be external or embedded into the file, in the ID3v2 Tags. The ID3v2 tagging standard allows any kind of image to be embedded into the audio file. JPEG or PNG files can be embedded, but JPEG has been the norm. The difference between embedded information and external information is as simple as it sounds. When you embed something (an image file in this case) into the audio file, the size of the audio file increases relatively. Although external information does not increase the size of the file, the major drawback that it creates is unportability of the information. If one media player recognizes external Album Art, your media centre might not recognize. Plus, external files also increase clutter.

How to Embed Album Art into MP3 Files?

What we’ll need:

  1. Mp3tag Mp3tag is an advanced ID3 tag editor that also lets you edit embeddable information, like Album Art.
  2. The Album Art graphic file: You’ll of course need the graphic file that you wish to embed as album art. The recommended dimensions are 200×200 or 300×300. You can try searching for Album art on Google Image Search or Wikipedia. You can also you use a software like Album Art Downloader that will fetch you the Album Art for the specified Album from various sources like Last.fm, Amazon, various online music databases etc.

Here we go:

1. Open Mp3Tag, go to File > Change Directory (Ctrl+D). Select the directory of your Album or where your music files are located. Similarly, you can drag-n-drop the files you wish to edit and embed Album Art.

2. Select all the files with the mouse pointer or press CTRL+A. Right click on the selected files and chose Extended Tags.

greenshot_2009-08-22_00-57-09

3. A dialog box will open that lists all the extended tags of the files selected. On the right, you’ll see a box where you can select the Album Artwork. Click the Add Cover Button on the right (which has a star on it), browse and select the image file you’ve downloaded and chosen to embed as artwork and click open. Then click Ok.

greenshot_2009-08-22_01-01-17

4. Voila! Your selected music has been updated with the Album Art of your choice.

Mp3Tag is quite a powerful tagging software. You can use it to edit other meta information in your music collection and wash out the mistakes in the tags. incidentally, you can also extract artwork from mp3 files, by clicking on the save’ button.

Well, I think that solves it. Have an organized and lively experience with your music! :)

Image courtesy: tupton

How to Turn Foobar2000 Into a Super Music Player

Foobar2000

Foobar2000 is an advanced music player that sports a very minimalistic look and can manage features TNT size – at the same time. Developed for Windows by Peter Pawlowski, a former freelance contractor for Nullsoft the company that makes WinAmp, Foobar2000 is totally the player of dreams for anyone who needs power, control and speed at the same time in the same player.

However, just after installation, you’ll notice the GUI is very simple, in fact, it’s the most simplest. It’s just grey. That’s all. Then how is it powerful? That’s what you’ll find out in this post.

Default GUI

Although Foobar2000’s base is closed source, it’s development kit, the SDK, is licensed under the BSD license. So there’s a plethora of plugins and modules that can enhance the player’s functionality. Moreover, a lot of advanced features are actually hidden under its hood, that we will tell you about today.

Settings and Configurations

There are several changes you can make to the default installation to make Foobar more happening and useful. Let us check out what they are. Below are some components that we recommend.

1. Add all your media files to the library (and keep them in sync): Just like any other player, you can import all your library into Foobar. The folders that you wish to add will be synchronized and any deletion/addition of music from those folders will instantaneously reflect in your Foobar library.

  • Click Library → Configure. In the dialog box that opens, click on Media Library’ in the sidebar.
  • Click on Add to add the folders you wish to monitor. Once added, Foobar will import all music files present in those folders and also monitor them for any changes.

Media Manager

2. Associate File Types: Foobar supports a large list of file formats. To select Foobar’s association with different formats, follow these steps.

  • Click Library → Configure. In the dialog box that opens, click on File Types’ in the sidebar.
  • Select for which formats you wish to make Foobar the default music player.

File types

3. Configure Keyboard Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts play a very important role for any music player. And Foobar does a very good job of handling them. You can create and edit keyboard shortcuts in Foobar, it’s just so easy.

  • Click Library → Configure. In the dialog box that opens, click on General’ and then Keyboard Shortcuts’ in the sidebar.
  • Click the Add Newbutton. Select an action in the Action’ column. Use the Filter box to quickly browse through the actions you require, example: next, play pause, volume up/down.
  • Go to the Key’ box and type in the keyboard key you wish to make the shortcut for the specified action. It can be a combination of keys. Also, if you wish to make it a Global Hotkey, click the corresponding checkbox. Making it a Global Hotkey will let you use the shortcuts even when Foobar is not selected, or you are using another application!

Keyboard Shortcuts

4. Make the cursor follow playback: When songs are being played in a playlist, by default, the song selection does not automatically shift when a new track plays after another. It means, the window will not automatically scroll up or down as per the track’s location. To fix this:

  • Click on Playback’ and select Playback follows cursor’ and Cursor follows playback’

Playback follows cursor

5. Set the order of playback: You won’t see the usual Random’ or Shuffle’ button here in Foobar. It is, in fact, just a click away under a submenu.

  • Click on Playback’ → Order. Select the order of playback you want from the options given. Ample options, eh?

Playback options

6. Minimize to Notification area and Balloon Tooltip: You can minimize Foobar to the Notification area with a single config edit. Enabling balloon tooltips also needs just a click.

  • Click Library → Configure. Select Display → Default User Interface. Under the System Notification Area’ column, select Always show notification area icon’, Minimize to notification area’ and Show balloon tooltip on song change’. Of course, you may select the options you desire and not necessarily these.

Notification Area options

7. Installing themes: Foobar also supports GUI customization and theming. There are several themes available on the internet, most popularly on DeviantArt. Each theme has its own installation instructions and many themes also require certain modules to be installed. More on modules later. Anyhow, to install a theme:

  • Click Library → Configure. Select Display → Default User Interface. Under Theme Management’, click on Import theme’. Select the theme file you’d downloaded from DeviantArt or any other place.

IBIZA Ibiza Theme by Br3tt

Components and Modules

Functionality can be added to the player by using several components or modules that are available. A bunch of them have been developed and supported by the developer, rest are community developed.

The Fooblog has an interesting read on useful components. You should definitely check it out. Fooblog notes:

Installation of components couldn’t be simpler, once downloaded browse to your foobar2000 application directory, typically:

C:\Program Files\foobar2000\

From here enter the componentsdirectory, making sure that fb2k is closed, paste the newly downloaded component .dll file here. Close the folder and open up fb2k again to check the component has installed go to File > Preferences (CTRL+P) > Component. This page lists all the installed plugins, their titles and their version numbers. Double clicking the component will bring up some basic information about it, for instance its purpose and the author.

Each component will have a different method of configuration but ultimately these options will appear in the preferences panel under the associated section, e.g. Display, Tools, Library, etc.

1. Enable Last.fm Scrobbling

Last.fm scrobbling

  • Download Audioscrobbler (foo_audioscrobbler.dll)
  • Save the file in [InstallationDrive]:\Program Files\foobar2000\components
  • Restart Foobar2000
  • Go to Library → Configure → Tools → Audioscrobbler and set the settings. You’re done.

2. Decoding support for Apple Lossless Audio Codec files (.M4A)

  • Download foo_input_alac.zip
  • Extract the file and paste the dll file in it to the components folder as mentioned previously.
  • Restart Foobar2000

3. Customize Columns. Make Layout iTunes Like

Columns_UI

This module makes it very easy to customize the layout of your Foobar2000 player. You can customize where what is displayed. Different modes are already available for you to choose to select the layout.

  • Download Columns_UI
  • Extract the dll and file and paste it in the components folder
  • Restart Foobar. You’ll be asked which UI you want to choose. Select Columns_UI
  • From the Quick Setup window that appears next, select the layout you prefer.

4. iPod Manager

iPod management component which allows you to manage most Apple iPod models without the use of iTunes. Features include:

  • Artwork support
  • ReplayGain to SoundCheck conversion
  • Gapless playback support
  • Conversion/transcoding of unsupported audio formats
  • Smart playlist creation

Extract the downloaded archive – using suitable compression software, such as 7-Zip – to the components sub-directory of your foobar2000 directory. Additional requirements/steps   and Download here.

5. Add ASIO output support

Useful for rare/obscure soundcards that provide ASIO drivers but no regular Windows audio drivers, as well as for bit-exact output on any soundcards that provide ASIO drivers.

  1. Install the ASIO component from the foobar2000 official components site.
  2. Configure it – Preferences / Playback / Output / ASIO Virtual Devices. This step is necessary because there’s no automatic way to detect which ASIO device channel corresponds to which speaker; additionally, multiple identical soundcards present in your system are presented as different ASIO channel groups provided by one driver rather than different drivers.
  3. Set your output device to one of configured ASIO devices.

6. Audio CD Burning Support

This module allows you to burn audio CDs from any of supported audio formats, through context menu commands. No longer requires Nero to be installed.

Download dll file and place it in your components folder.

7. Displays your media library in multiple list views.

default

Facets is a flexible media library viewer for foobar2000, based on linked lists. It provides a very sleek and modern looking playlist view that you must be familiar with while using other players like iTunes, Songbird etc.

Download Facets | Screenshots | Feature List | Installation Instructions

8. Pause Playback when session is locked

This module adds the menu command “Pause On Lock” which will automatically pause playback when the desktop is locked or when a Fast User Switch occurs, then resume when the desktop session is restored.

Download Component

9. View Playback Statistics

Playback statistics Playback statistics

This module collects playback statistics for your Media Library content. Statistics can be displayed in the Properties dialog or using %first_played%, %last_played%, %played_per_day%, %play_count%, %added% and %rating% in the Playlist view of the Default User Interface under the Library → Configure.

Playback statistics

10. Quickly Tag Music with Quick Tagger

Quick Tagger adds customizable context menu commands for quickly setting tag fields to preconfigured values (for rating and such). Can be used to bind keyboard shortcuts to simple tag modifications.

The configuration for the Quick Tagger can be found in the foobar2000 preferences on the Tools > Tagging > Quick Tagger page. For example, it can be used to write a rating tag to files. Click the Add New button to add a new preset, and change the name to “Rating” (without the quotation marks) and press Enter. Then press F2 or click on the values column and change the text to “1; 2; 3; 4; 5″. This will create a new submenu in the context menu at Tagging / Quick Tagger. The new commands can be invoked directly through the context menu, or they can be bound to keyboard shortcuts as usual. [by foosion]

Adding Quick Tags Values: Quick tagger

Now setting up keyboard shortcuts for the values:

Quick Tagger Keyboard Shortcuts

Download Quick Tagger

11. Install Equalizer Presets: Foobar2000 has a built in Equalizer, but there are no presets for you to choose. But we can download some and load them as we need.

  • Download Equalizer Presets (Second option, under the Download heading)
  • Extract the zip package and put the preset files somewhere you can find them later.
  • Restart Foobar2000. Go to View → Equalizer. Check Equalizer Enabled’ and click the Load’ button. Select any one preset you downloaded previously.

Equalizer

12. Channel Mixer

This module lets you make certain changes to the way sound output is done. Like:

* – (up|down)mix (to|from) 1-6 channels
* – redirect bass to subwoofer channel (6-channels output mode only)
* – delay rear channels by 1-40 ms (4 or 6-channels output mode only)
* – surround sound effect (2->4 or 2->6 mode only)
* – changing virtual width of a stereoimage

Download Channel MixerComponent

13. Grab Song Lyrics and Update the song’s lyric metadata:

This component, once installed, let’s you download lyrics for one, or any number of songs selected from the LyricWiki or LyricPlugin Database.

Select one or multiple songs, right click, select Lyric Grabber and click on one of the two sources:

Lyric Grabber

Once it searches for lyrics, you click the Update File button, and then the lyrics will be stored in the music file as a ID3 tag.

Lyric Grabber

To know more about ID3 tags, click here.

Download Lyric Grabber Component

What Say?

Foobar2000 is a minimalistic yet powerful media player. It’s got a wealth of customization options. A good deal of developers can be found at HydrogenAudio Forums where you can also get support for the application. A list of ALL components can also be found here.

Even though, it lacks some features such as Video playback, it does Audio playback nicely and is well, very snappy at what it does. Whatever number of components you load into it and whatever functionality you add, it still takes no more than a second to start up.

With a totally customized version, a number of components installed and monitoring a music library of 30Gb, Foobar on my machine does not take any more than 14Mb of RAM at a time.

foobar2000 memory footprint

Isn’t that great? Download Your Own Foobar2000 Today!

PS: I call it the player of geeks! :P

Identify A Song Using Twitter

Got words of a song stuck in your head but can’t seem to remember what song it is? Ofcourse, you can Google it and try to find the song but how about finding it through Twitter?

LyricRat is a cool web application that helps you in identifying songs. Just send a tweet to @LyricRat with whatever words you can remember from a song. LyricRat will look up the song for you and reply you with the name of the song, name of the artist as well as a link to the song on Amazon MP3. You can listen to a clip of the song or buy it in MP3.

I can’t say that the service is 100% accurate, but I think they do a pretty good job based on the words you provide them with. Alternately, you can also head over to LyricRat.com and search for a song there using whatever words you remember from a song.

Indie Community Site IndiePit Gets Ready for Update [Grab Free Pro Accounts]

Update: All you IndiePit fans, version 1.5 is coming out on Monday at 12AM PST instead of launch date set for today, the delay was caused because of some technical glitches, the 500 pro accounts for new signups are still a go so hang on and start signing up on 15th June 12AM PST.

Indiepit

If you could recall, we published a post last month about some fantastic sources of indie music online. We missed Indiepit but had to add it, thanks to our engaging readers who pointed out it’s inept absence from the list.

» IndiePit is an online music community for indie artists, where musicians can share their tunes with the world, sell their creations and create an online fan base.

Launched presumably in 2007, Indiepit has been relatively unknown to the masses except the traditionalist indie music fans. Basically Indiepit, without the .com is a company which facilitates the success of independent bands, musicians and labels. And the site is their primary tool. Unlike other supporters of independent music, Indiepit is built from scratch without any venture capital funding or by the backing of any large corporate entities. Says their myspace page.

As per our birdie, they will soon be releasing the next version of the site. The revamp, number 1.5 to be precise shall be out by the 12 of June. We were interested about the new launch so we’ve got some exclusive details on what’s coming new for our awesome Techie Buzz readers!

A new album management system will be introduced. Unlike version 1.0 where artists could upload only full albums, a new system of rules shall be out which will allow the submission of EPs, LPs and compilations. Artists can now create mixes of their tracks and put them on the site.

The site will soon be working like a mini store for music. Previously, users and fans could download songs for free only if the artist had permitted it. Now with the new update, users can not only download free songs but also buy those which are not free. Artists can either set a straight price for their tracks in which case their album will cost the total cost of the tracks or set a discounted price for the album if the whole of it is bought together. The tracks downloaded will be DRM free and of the original quality in which they were uploaded.

Another freshly baked feature is of the coupon codes. Artists can create coupons which they can give away to their fans to be used on Indiepit for free downloads of their tracks. A feature of great use to indie artists that play at local parties where they can pass on coupons as merchandise or on cards.

If you are an indie fan, artist or label, signing up on Indiepit is worth the time.

IndiePit also offers Pro accounts for artists and bands, and if you’re one, you stand a chance to grab a Pro account on Indiepit if you are amongst the first 500 to signup on June 12!

[ IndiePit ]

Top 10 Sources of Fantastic And New Indie Music

Music is an obsession for many. Some people live on music and some feed on it. And when you feed on it, you can’t have the same kind of music to hear everyday, every week. When you have veggies everyday, it feels good to have a pizza once a while or bite a burger. So why not experiment and find music which has not been found yet?

For those who are too addicted to Coldplay or Linkin Park, should know that there are a lot of artists and bands, which are striving to get their music heard without the support of any major recording company. Their music may not always be good but it may be very good at times, all they need is support from people and good coverage before an established studio signs them up.

A lot of these artists try to get their content reach people through the internet which in most of the cases, is available for free. You get to hear music never heard before, you get to know artists never known before. And they’re usually good.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the best places on the internet to look for such indie music from unsigned, independent artists or pop groups.

Jamendo

jamendo

Now hosting more than 20,000 albums, Jamendo is a music sharing and community site. Artists can upload their tracks onto the site and assign them one of the Creative Commons licenses. With a license in hand, artists can promote their content and protect their rights at the same time. If you like a particular artist, you can also make a donation through paypal from the site itself. A quick sign-up gives you a profile with some social networking abilities, although downloads and unlimited streaming is free for anyone, registered or not.

Magnatune

magnatune

Magnatune works directly with artists worldwide and the music published is all hand picked. When an album is uploaded, you can listen to it for free as much as you want. But downloading it will require a subscription. Starting at just $10/month, you can download any album you like. Magnatune pays artists 50% of what it earns justifying the tagline We are not evil’. You can also browse through collections, like this one for best selling instrumental music and order CDs by postal mail ($11 to $24). An option for individual album downloads is also there which costs between $5 and $18, fifty percent of which goes to the artist.

Netlabels

netlabels-header

The netlabels archive on archive.org has been a prominent place to look for new music. It allows netlabel owners to upload their content creative commons licensing is an option to the archive and anyone can stream or download the tracks for absolutely no cost. You can either download individual tracks or get hold of an album with a zip download.   Streaming music is also a feature.

Legal Torrents

legaltorrents

Legal Torrents is an online digital media community and as the name implies, this is no pirate bay. Being a community, there are also a lot of other things like movies and games legal ones! for grabs. The music is licensed under any of the creative commons licenses and a submission is only taken in once it has been verified. Although you can’t browse the netlabels section by genre, the point that it provides a community based p2p platform for artists makes up for it.

FMA

fma

The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of free legal downloads. All the music is free to stream and free to download. Artists get a page of their own which sport a short bio and links to their sites. Listeners can also tip’ or donate to their favorite artists via paypal or mark albums as a favorite. Albums can be browsed by genre and further by sub-genres.

Mixcloud

mixcloud

Mixcloud, unlike any other on this list, focuses on music mixes and compilations rather than individual tracks. It also accepts podcasts, radio shows and dj mixes into its library. Subscription right now is free, while Mixcloud is in beta. You can listen to any music, any time at no cost although downloading is not permitted. Every registered user can upload their own music as well and create a profile to promote their content.

The Sixty One

thesixtyone_press_logo

It’s like Digg but for music. Artists upload their songs to the site and users can love’ them. With each love’ vote, the song gets popular and rises to the top of the list. A very well thought out site, the music continues its play as you navigate through the site and browse songs, either by genre or popularity. If you sign up, you’ll get to bump tracks up the list, save them to a playlist and download some freely available tracks as well.

GarageBand

garageband

A large community website for independent artists, GarageBand is used by musicians to promote their creations and get critical reviews about their tracks. Songs can be streamed and many can be downloaded as well. The site provides a social network backend for artists where they can create a community and meet new fans. Listeners can review any album out there and rate it accordingly.

PureVolume

purevolume

Purevolume solely focuses on the promotion of indie music artists and groups. Listeners can signup for free and go through their archive of albums and tracks. Many of the tracks are available for free download even though you can stream all of them. PureVolume features both signed and unsigned artists and there’s a page which lists the top tracks by unsigned artists. Check it out.

Amie Street

amie

Amie Street is like the ideal platform for emerging artists. When an album is submitted, it’s either free to download or cheap to buy. As it gets more popular and more people listen to and buy it, it’s price rises. So the newest and latest music is either free or doesn’t make a hole in your pocket. When it rises in popularity, you’ll have to spend about $0.98/per track. Not at all a bad price for good music.

Update:  Ok Ok, I missed  IndiePit. Check it out as well, it seems quite cool.

And That’s All. Let me know what are your favorite sites for finding cool new music. The comments are always open.

Err…I still can’t help those who have veggies everyday :D Get a change guys!